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NPL Site Narrative for Malone Service Company, Inc.

Texas City, Texas

Federal Register Notice:  June 14, 2001 (PDF) (8 pp, 192K, About PDF)

Conditions at Proposal (August 24, 2000): The Malone Service Company (MSC) site is located in Texas City, Galveston County, Texas, and encompasses the property formerly used by Malone Service Company, Inc., as a hazardous waste storage, reclamation, and disposal facility. The facility, which covers approximately 150 acres, operated from 1964 until 1996. The entire facility is surrounded by an 18-foot high flood-protection levee. Wetlands and Galveston Bay border the east side of the facility, adjacent to the levee. The site is being proposed to the NPL based on evidence that hazardous substances from the facility, including chlorinated solvents, phenols, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and metals (specifically chromium and lead) have contaminated the underlying ground water and have migrated to Galveston Bay, a National Estuary and major fishery, and associated wetlands.

Wastes received by the facility from a variety of industries included acids and caustics from industrial cleaning and surface preparations; contaminated residues and solvents removed from processing and storage units during cleaning operations; spent drilling fluids, including drilling muds and brines, from well workover and exploration activities; acids containing metals from etching and plating operations; inorganic slurries from sump cleaning; gasoline and crude oil tank bottoms; contaminated earth and water from chemical spill cleanup operations; general industrial plant wastes; phenolic tars; and waste oils.

The MSC facility used an earthen impoundment and an in-ground, concrete American Petroleum Institute (API) separator for the equalization of the various waste streams and separation of wastes into aqueous, nonaqueous organic, and solid phases. The earthen impoundment, which covers approximately 5 acres, is filled with oily solids and contaminated water to a depth of up to 40 feet. The API unit, with a capacity of 1,308,000 gallons, also contains residual waste.

Beneath the site is a shallow ground water aquifer consisting of a buried sand channel that was formed as part of the delta of an ancient river. The aquifer crosses beneath the site and extends to Galveston Bay. Both the earthen impoundment and the API separator were constructed within the channel aquifer. The earthen impoundment is partially unlined where it comes into contact with the aquifer. The API separator is a concrete structure; the integrity of the structure has not been assessed.

The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) collected samples of material in the impoundment and API separator as part of compliance inspections in 1986 and 1989. TNRCC returned to the site in 1997 to evaluate potential ground water and sediment impacts associated with the site. Ground water samples collected during the 1997 inspection indicated that hazardous substances originally found in the impoundment and API separator in the 1980s had been released to the underlying aquifer. Released hazardous substances included phenol, chlorinated compounds (chlorobenzene, 1,1-dichloroethane, 1,2-dichloroethane, 1,1-dichloroethylene, 1,2-dichloroethylene, 1,1,2-trichloroethane, and vinyl chloride), and metals (arsenic, barium, chromium, copper, and lead). Chemical analysis of sediment samples collected from Galveston Bay during the 1997 inspection document that chromium and lead have already migrated to the Bay.

Galveston Bay is the seventh largest estuary in the United States and is part of the National Estuary Program. This 600 square mile estuary and its adjacent wetlands support a wide range of commercial and recreational fishing. More than 70 species of waterfowl and shorebirds and 90 species of amphibians and reptiles inhabit Galveston Bay.

Status (June 2001): EPA is considering various alternatives for this site.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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